Chicago Fire 0, New York Red Bulls 4 | MLS Cup Playoffs Recap
The New York Red Bulls entered the last two postseasons as the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference. They failed to reach MLS Cup in both seasons. They entered the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs as the No. 6 seed and came out flying on Wednesday night against the Chicago Fire, advancing to the Conference Semifinals thanks to a 4-0 win at Toyota Park.
In the process they became the first No. 6 seed to ever win in the MLS Cup Playoffs. (No. 6 seeds were added in 2015).
Bradley Wright-Phillips started proceedings early in the seventh minute after receiving a chipped through-ball from Damien Perrinelle. The Englishman failed to get a touch initially but, after a misplay by Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson, he was able to finish into an empty net. The goal was his eighth all-time in the MLS Cup Playoffs, moving him into a tie for tenth all-time.
Daniel Royer added a third in the second half to put the match away after a Dax McCarty turnover in the midfield. Gonzalo Veron provided the capper after Kljestan put him in 1v1 against Lampson. The Argentine chipped his shot over the onrushing 'keeper to put the Red Bulls up four.
- 7' - NY - Bradley Wright-Phillips Watch
- 11' - NY - Sacha Kljestan Watch
- 70' - NY - Daniel Royer Watch
- 87' - NY - Gonzalo Veron Watch
- THE UNDERDOG RED BULLS: It has been rare during Jesse Marsch's tenure that the Red Bulls have entered a playoff match as the underdogs, but such was the case on Wednesday. With the two early goals, they were able to take the wind out of the Fire's sails, and cruised to a win.
- FIRE OUT: The Fire were one of the stories of the season through July but couldn't sustain their success after suffering injuries throughout the squad. They sputtered into the playoffs and did not offer a strong performance against the Red Bulls, despite playing at home.
- GIANT KILLERS?: With the win, New York advances to the Conference Semifinals and they will face off against the Supporters’ Shield winners, Toronto FC. They have failed to beat TFC in either of their two meetings this season, drawing 1-1 at Red Bull Arena in May and losing 4-2 at BMO Field on Sept. 30. They will go in as the clear underdogs to TFC, but have the chance to get off on the front foot by playing the first game of the series at home.
- CHI: End of season
- NY: Conference Semifinals vs. Toronto FC